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Shower DIY advice

planning a shower
choosing a shower
installing a shower
installing a shower tray

Baths DIY advice

renovating and repairing a bath
removing an old cast-iron bath
installing a new bath
choosing a new bath
choosing a shower door
choosing a glass shower enclosure

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Installing a shower

Most types of shower can be fitted either over a bath or in a cubicle. The fixings and pipe routes vary according to the shower type, the bathroom layout and the shower location, but the method of installation is basically the same.

Before you start Installing your shower

Decide on the type of shower you want, bearing in mind that the shower head must either be fitted so as to prevent it coming into contact with water in the bath or shower tray, or it must have a check valve (non-return shower valve) where the hose is attached to the shower control.

  • Mark the required positions of the spray shower head and shower control.
  • Plan the pipework to the shower control and how the waste water will be routed to the drainage system.
  • Fit the shower control. Most units are available as either surface-mounted or recessed fittings, and come with fixings and instructions. When fitting a recessed mixer, if possible mount it on a removable shower panel flush with the wall so that you have easy access to the controls.
  • Cut off the water supply and fit the water supply pipes. You can recess the pipes into the wall and then replaster or tile over them. However, they must be protected with a waterproof covering and have service shower valves fitted.
  • Fit the shower head and spray. For a separate shower enclosure, fit the base shower tray and waste fittings.
  • Connect the supply pipes to the shower control. An adaptor with a female screw thread (copper to iron) may be needed.
  • Restore the water supply and check the piping for leaks. Tighten any joints as necessary.
  • Fit screening panels and seal the joints between the wall and screening and the shower tray.

A typical shower cubicle installation

Shower screens are usually about 1.8m high. Panel widths can usually be adjusted by 25-50mm to allow for walls that are out of true. Doors may be hinged, folded (with panels shaped to keep water in), sliding with corner entry, or pivoted to give a wide entry without taking a lot of opening space. Some shower trays have an adjustable support by which the height can be altered so that the waste pipe and trap can be positioned either above or below the floorboards.

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